NY makes Asian Lunar New Year a school holiday across the state

Photo by Darren McGee/ Office of Governor: Kathy Hochul signs the Lunar New Year Legislation declaring Asian Lunar New Year a School Holiday.

Posted 9 September 2023 at 9:28 pm

Press Release, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office

Governor Kathy Hochul today signed legislation to declare Asian Lunar New Year a public school holiday across New York State.

Legislation (A.7768/S.7573) will ensure schools are not in session on Lunar New Year, underscoring Governor Hochul’s commitment to supporting and protecting New York’s AAPI community.

“By designating Lunar New Year as an official school holiday, we are taking an important step in recognizing the importance of New York’s AAPI community and the rich diversity that makes New York so great,” Governor Hochul said. “It is not just a day off from school – it is an opportunity for our children to learn about and celebrate their own or different cultures and traditions.”

Legislation (A.7768/S.7573) amends the education law to declare Asian Lunar New Year a public school holiday statewide. The legislation requires that all public schools close for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Editor’s Note: The new legislation takes effect on July 1, 2023. The Asian Lunar New Year is the first day after the second lunar month after the winter solstice in the preceding  calendar year. The new one falls om Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “The Lunar New Year holiday will give thousands of Asian students in our state the ability to gather together and celebrate with family and friends without having to sacrificing their education. I hope this will also shine a light on the culture and traditions of our Asian friends and neighbors, and in a time where we have seen hate and violence against Asian communities, this will open people’s eyes, encouraging tolerance and acceptance. I thank Governor Hochul for her leadership and signing this important legislation.”